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This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Monday, December 9, 2019

#IMWAYR December 9, 201


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. 

I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, and I’m almost out of time. Fortunately there are so many great books it's time well spent!

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade

As I said last week, it's  refreshing to see middle grade taking on big issues. 


Roll With It is about a girl with CP, a grandfather with Alzheimer's disease, and finding independence even when you are dependent. Plus, there's lots of baking!


Summer of a Thousand Pies is also about baking, so I was very hungry reading these books back to back. It's about a girl with an alcoholic father who is sent to jail for negligence and how she finally finds a secure home and family with her aunt and her partner.


Genesis Begins Again is about a girl who feels her dark black skin makes her ugly and worthless. She wants so much to have lighter skin that she will do anything to change her color. She learns to recognize her strengths and to stop seeing skin as a weakness.



Lety Out Loud is about a girl who volunteers at an Animal Shelter camp. But it's really about the challenge of coming to a new country and not speaking the language.  I love that the book was published in two languages which is why even though I can't read the Spanish version, I posted the cover.



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Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

#IMWAYR December 2, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. 

I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, and I’m almost out of time. Fortunately Thanksgiving break gave me lots of reading time.

Here's what I read this week:


Middle Grade


So many amazing middle grade books were published in 2019! It’s so refreshing to see middle grade taking on big issues. The books above address familiar topics such as friendship, family, first love, and loss. They also take on immigration, gender identity, mental health, LGBTQ, and racism. You’ll find out my favorites when the Cybil finalists are announced in January. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ones I read this week (pictured above).

Young Adult
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I have been anxiously waiting this (hopefully not final) book in the Scythe series. Fans will not be disappointed in the ending. If you have not found this series yet and love reading dystopian futures, definitely check it out.


Call Down the Hawk is Stephen King’s The Stand for young adults. In this world there are dreamers, people who can make dreams a literal reality and the dreamed, people and animals who the dreamers have brought to life. But those who can foresee the future see the end of the world coming from a dreamer so the hunters have been brought in to kill the dreamers before that can happen and once a dreamer dies, those dreamed fall into an endless sleep. The story is complex and told in multiple voices. I can’t wait until the next one.


This powerful story by Neal Shusterman brings to life his own son’s experience with mental illness in a way that will have you rooting for him both in the real world and in the world he has created in his mind.
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Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

#IMWAYR November 18, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, so expect to see a lot of middle grade fiction for the next few weeks. A lot of middle grade fiction.

Here's what I read this week:

Picture Book



I loved this story about the pride a younger sister felt when her older sister wore her hijab to school for the first time. This is a definite must read for every classroom.


A wonderful story about accepting differences and all the ways we can be unique. 

Middle Grade


Karina Chopra hasn't wanted to talk to her neighbor Chris since his friends teased her for being Indian. But when Karina's grandfather is assigned as Chris' math tutor, they start to see each other in a new light. When the two of them are witness to a racially motivated attack on Karina's grandfather, they bond even further and start a movement. This book is a must read and could be paired with the two picture books above and the book Wishtree.


Mrs. Graham is not your typical teacher. First, she makes the students stay in the same seat all year to "build community." Second, she expects them to change the world. When one of her groups takes that inspiration too far, Mrs. Graham's class must use what they have learned to make real change in their local community in order to save Mrs. Graham's job. A wonderful story told in multiple points of view and multiple formats. 


When Kaede's mother is killed in a car accident, he became angry at the world. That anger led him to make a number of serious mistakes. Not knowing what else to do, his grandfather reaches out to his father and stepbrother in Japan - who Kaede has not been in touch with in years. Invited to spend three weeks with them, Kaede goes to Japan with an assignment to write a journal about the meaning of home in order to pass the year. A story about the meaning of home and family.


Lulu's family hasn't been the same since her baby sister died when Lulu was three. Her parents think she can't remember what life was like before but Lulu has HSAM - a memory condition that gives her the ability to remember every moment of her life as if she's replaying scenes on an iPhone. When Lulu's grandmother starts losing her own memory, Lulu is determined to use her special memory to help her grandmother. But the more she learns about her grandmother's past, the more she learns she may not know her grandmother's life story as well as she thought.


Fina's practically lives at the US Capitol building because her father is a US Congressman from California. But while exploring the Capitol crypt, she comes across the legendary Demon Cat, which is thought to bring bad luck. When one thing after another goes wrong, Fina becomes determined to find this Demon Cat and change her luck. This story will take kids behind the scenes at the Capitol.


Maddie considers herself part of the popular girls at her school but when they dare her to do something mean to another girl - and she does it, she suddenly finds herself wondering whether being popular is more important than being kind.
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Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below.